May 26 2014, 6:02pm CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
"Senior attackman Jordan Wolf tallied two goals and four assists and the Blue Devil defense held off a fourth-quarter charge by Notre Dame en route to the program's second consecutive NCAA Men's Lacrosse National Championship with an 11-9 victory over the Irish.
"The national championship is the third for the Blue Devil program in the past five seasons.
"Under the direction of head coach John Danowski, Duke became the first team to win back-to-back titles since Syracuse accomplished the feat in 2008 and 2009. Wolf was named the NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player. Deemer Class, Will Haus, Myles Jones, Kyle Keenan and Henry Lobb joined him on the NCAA All-Tournament Team.
"Wolf, who had a hand in each of the Blue Devils' final five goals, led all scorers in the contest with six points. Junior Kyle Keenan and sophomores Deemer Class and Myles Jones also had two goals apiece while senior Brendan Fowler went 13 of 22 at the faceoff X to help seal the win.
"With Duke leading 8-2 midway through the third quarter, Notre Dame put together a 6-2 run to narrow the margin to one with five minutes on the clock. Brendan Fowler won the ensuing faceoff, but Irish goaltender Conor Kelly made the save and Notre Dame cleared for a chance to tie the game.
"The Irish got a look at a goal, but Duke's Luke Aaron made the stop and Jones picked up the ground ball. Looking to stop Notre Dame's momentum, Wolf found Keenan on the crease for the junior attackman's second and most important goal of the game that put Duke ahead 10-8 with 2:39 to play.
"A goal by Sergio Perkovic of the Irish made it a one-goal game at 10-9 with just 49 seconds left on the clock, but Brendan Fowler won the ensuing faceoff for the Blue Devils and Wolf beat a pair of Notre Dame defenders to get the open net goal and send Duke to its second consecutive title.
"Fowler won 13 of 22 faceoffs and picked up six ground balls for the Blue Devils, while Chris Hipps and Henry Lobb recorded two caused turnovers apiece. Lobb held Notre Dame single-season scoring leader Matt Kavanagh to just two goals and one assist and only four shots on the day after he recorded seven in the semifinal against Maryland."
Aaron finished with nine saves for the Blue Devils, who also beat Notre Dame four years ago, 6-5, to win the national championship that year. The freshmen on that squad tasted championship glory once again as seniors, per WRALSportsFan.com.
Duke head men's lacrosse coach John Danowski spoke about his team's camaraderie, per the same update.
"Each team has its own identity and its own unique challenges, adversity over the course of the year. The fun of this is that I couldn't tell you what day today is, the date -- I know it's May -- but it's just kind of fun, everybody having fun and living day to day....The bonding that occurs is incredible because the focus is only on lacrosse."
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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